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ASHA NEWS

Author: Alison Frappell

Education and Interpretation Officer, Sydney Harbour YHA and the Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre

Celebrating 25 Years since The Big Dig excavations in 1994, a new documentary titled ‘Archaeology at The Big Dig’ explores how an archaeological site can give special insights into understanding the history of The Rocks and Sydney.

The documentary ‘stars’ many people who are familiar to ASHA members, including Professors Richard Mackay and Grace Karskens, Dr Wayne Johnson and Committee members Helen Nicholson and Alison Frappell.

The documentary will be shown on Monday 27th April 2020 at 4.00pm on SBS One as part of their special public holiday programming. What better way to spend half an hour on a public holiday afternoon under the COVID-19 shutdown?


Following the first broadcast, the documentary will be viewable on the SBS On Demand platform, just in case you miss it first time around.

The documentary was funded through contributions made by guests staying at Sydney Harbor YHA, and created with the film making expertise and collaborative approach of the Art of Multimedia team.

ASHA events
Daniel J. Leahy, University of New England, Armidale, NSW

In late February 2020, two service trenches were dug across Curtis Park, which is located along the Dumaresq Creek in central Armidale, NSW. The trenches are believed to be works associated with the initial developments of a current million-dollar project which will see a section of the park converted into a regional playground (Green 2019). In the process of digging these trenches, numerous historical artefacts – including broken glass, broken ceramics, and iron nails – were removed from their context and strewn across the publicly accessible surface of Curtis Park. This situation mobilised members of the University of New England (UNE) Archaeology Society to volunteer their time to conduct field-walking surveys in early March in an effort to identify and record these artefacts. During this process the risk these artefacts posed to the public (jagged metal/glass/ceramic etc), as well as the risk to the artefacts themselves through surface exposure or trampling, was highlighted and the decision taken to systematically recover the artefacts from the surface of the park.

IMAGE 1 – Front view of Lea & Perrins’ glass bottle stopper that was located on the surface of Curtis Park, Armidale, NSW, March 2020 (M. Zarb).IMAGE 1 – Front view of Lea & Perrins’ glass bottle stopper that was located on the surface of Curtis Park, Armidale, NSW, March 2020 (M. Zarb).

IMAGE  2 – Side view of Lea & Perrins’ glass bottle stopper that was located on the surface of Curtis Park, Armidale, NSW, March 2020 (M. Zarb).IMAGE 2 – Side view of Lea & Perrins’ glass bottle stopper that was located on the surface of Curtis Park, Armidale, NSW, March 2020 (M. Zarb).

European use of the site dates back to about 1846 when John Trim, a former convict , built a store along the North Road near the ford crossing the creek (Gibbs 2019:3). In 1927 the site was named ‘Curtis Park’ after one of Armidale’s prior mayors, William Curtis (1858-1934) (The Armidale Express 13 Dec. 1927:6; Armidale Regional Council 2017). The area was prone to flooding, with damaging floods reported to have occurred in 1863, 1893, and during the early 1950s (The Armidale Express 4 Apr. 1863:2, 14 Mar. 1893:4, 9 Oct. 1950:6), and required subsequent levelling through the import of landfill. In October 2019, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey of the park was conducted by Professor Martin Gibbs and volunteers from UNE, in collaboration with the Armidale Regional Council, as a student training exercise (Gibbs 2019:2). This survey located a buried compressed surface which, when aligned with historical maps, was interpreted as being the historic North Road, which ran roughly northeast through the park (Gibbs 2019:11-14). Due to these results, and the fact that a number of artefacts were found on the surface of the park during the GPR survey, it was recommended that ‘the area still contains significant archaeological deposits that should be preserved and interpreted’ (Gibbs 2019:14). However, to the best of the author’s knowledge at the time of writing, no formal archaeological consultancy or additional archaeological investigation has been conducted at the site.

One of the artefacts recovered during the March 2020 survey was a - small glass bottle stopper measuring approximately 31mm long and 25mm at its maximum diameter, with the brand name ‘LEA & PERRINS’ embossed on its top. Lea & Perrins was formed in Worcester, England, in 1837 when John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins began selling their newly created Worcestershire Sauce and, by the 1850s, the condiment was being exported to all parts of the British Empire (Lea & Perrins n.d.). Plain corks were initially used to seal the sauce bottles, but by about the 1840s Lea & Perrins adopted a glass stopper with a cork-wrapped shank, which continued to be used until it was replaced by a patented polyethelene pour plug and plastic screw-type closure in the late 1950s (Lunn 1981:3). Today, the sauce continues to be exported to over 130 countries (Lea & Perrins n.d.).

IMAGE 3 – Two styles of Lea & Perrins’ glass stoppers have been located in archaeological contexts at Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan, Canada (reproduced from Lunn 1981:4). The stopper located in Curtis Park is most similar to the style depicted on the right.

IMAGE 3 – Two styles of Lea & Perrins’ glass stoppers have been located in archaeological contexts at Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan, Canada (reproduced from Lunn 1981:4). The stopper located in Curtis Park is most similar to the style depicted on the right.

While a number of other artefacts have been located during the recent field-walking surveys, the Lea & Perrins’ bottle stopper has so far proven to be the most iconic. Once the brand name was read aloud while on site, all those taking part in the exercise immediately understood its connection to the condiment still sold at local supermarkets. The artefact has been robbed of its context through the digging of the service trench, and therefore it is impossible to say whether it is directly related to events which took place at the site in the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, or whether it was redeposited in landfill when the park was levelled at some point during the mid-late twentieth century. It has, however, given a handful of archaeology students and volunteers a brief glimpse into the past lives of those in Armidale region, while remaining as a tangible connection to the present.

IMAGE 4 – Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce available to purchase in an Armidale supermarket, March 2020 (D.J. Leahy).

IMAGE 4 – Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce available to purchase in an Armidale supermarket, March 2020 (D.J. Leahy).

Thanks to Dr Mark Moore, Dr James Roberts, Julie Harm, Peter O’Donohue, and Meaghan ‘May’ Zarb for taking part in various aspects of this exercise. Thanks also to Professor Martin Gibbs, Jeanne Harris, and Emma Watt for sharing their expertise and knowledge. It is hoped that a more complete paper documenting the historical artefacts located at Curtis Park will be published in a future volume of Australasian Historical Archaeology.

REFERENCES

THE ARMIDALE EXPRESS

ARMIDALE REGIONAL COUNCIL 2017, ‘William Curtis’, https://www.armidaleregional.nsw.gov.au/our-region/history-and-heritage/mayors-of-the-region/armidale-city-council/william-curtis, accessed 12 March 2020.

GIBBS, M. 2019, Ground Penetrating Radar Survey, Curtis Park, Trim’s Store Site, Armidale. Unpublished report prepared for the Armidale Regional Council, October 2019.

GREEN, S. 2019, ‘Armidale’s Curtis Park super playground a year with little to show’, The Armidale Express, 17 September 2019, https://www.armidaleexpress.com.au/story/6389851/million-dollar-super-playground-hard-to-get-off-the-ground/, accessed 11 March 2020.

LEA & PERRINS n.d., ‘Our story’, Lea & Perrins UK, https://www.leaandperrins.co.uk/our-story, accessed 11 March 2020.

LUNN, K. 1981, ‘Identification and dating of Lea and Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce bottles on Canadian historic sites: Interpretations past and present’, Canadian Journal of Archaeology 5:1-17.

Written by Blog Editor

Just two more weeks to go until National Archaeology Week kicks off in Australia! The week begins on 21st May, and there are lots of events happening in and around the week (most are free!) that you can pop in to and spread the word about the wonderful archaeological work going on across the country! For more information, including a calendar of events, see: http://www.archaeologyweek.com/

Written by Richard Morrison

As an ASHA promotional exercise, both of membership and historical archaeology, it was suggested that your regional representatives might organise a regional event and some measure of financial support might be available for this. As there is no strong Historical Archaeology base in the ACT - there is no tertiary teaching of it here in what is also a comparatively small region - it was considered prudent to explore the possibility of a joint event of some sort with the Canberra Archaeological Society (CAS) if we could find a mutually relevant theme and type of event.


The Q&A panel, L to R, Dr Michael Pearson AO, Dr Duncan Wright(ANU), Professor June Ross (UNE), Dr Tim Maloney (ANU) and Dr Tristen Jones (ANU), Maritime Rock Art Symposium, NMA,14/4/18. Photograph R Morrison.

The end result was a half day, contact-themed, free, public symposium which was held at the National Museum of Australia (NMA) during the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival. This drew a crowd of about 50, including archaeology students, academics, consultants and the public, to hear five experts relate investigations of maritime contact rock art across Australia, starting with Dr Michael Pearson AO, setting the scene by describing approaches to the identification of ships/boats found in Australian rock art. Case studies then followed in papers presented and/or written by academics from ANU, UNE and UWA. This was rounded off with a Q&A panel of all speakers. It is expected that the speakers' presentations will eventually be loaded on the CAS website.

The success of this event has encouraged CAS to suggest a joint event with ASHA be an annual activity.

 


Compiled by Blog Editor

There have been no submissions for Artefact of the Month recieved this month (email blog@asha.org.au if you would like to submit for the June edition!) however I've come across a great blog from our North American friends: The American Artifacts Blog!

This blog "is a media outlet featuring artifact-related digital content from U.S. and Canadian archaeologists. [You can use] the blog to search, explore and learn about North American history through material culture." The artefacts featured include both historic and pre-historic time periods, and are provided by archaeologists across the region.

For more see: https://americanartifactsblog.com/

Written by Nicholas Pitt

This workshop is being organised by the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology with the support of Australia ICOMOS and the Heritage Division, Office of Environment and Heritage. The venue is provided courtesy of Property NSW.

Historical documents: maps, plans and images
This session will:

  • look at how and why we do Land Titles research in archaeology
  • involve an online workshop on how to do Land Titles research and its value in understanding archaeological sites.
  • provide an understanding of historic images and plans
  • look at methods for overlaying maps and plans

    Archaeological Research Questions and Assessing Significance
    This session considers how we construct archaeological research designs and formulate questions to better understand the archaeological resource. This will include consideration of how these questions fit with assessing archaeological significance within a framework of the 2009 guidelines .

    Working in different statutory environments
    This session provides an overview of the s tatutory planning environments that archaeologists work i n , in NSW. It will look at assess ing heritage and archaeology for S tate Significant Development and Infrastructure projects including :

  • the role of an arch aeological assessment in the Environmental Impact Statement and the approvals process
  • managing risk for your clients (costs, time delays, etc.)
  • archaeological obligations under the NSW Heritage Act, 1977

     

    Workshop Presenters

  • Dr Mary Casey, President, ASHA and Director, Casey & Lowe
  • Dr James Flexner, Lecturer in Historical Archaeology and Heritage, University of Sydney
  • Dr Terry Kass, Historian and heritage consultant
  • Dr Siobhan Lavelle, Senior Team Leader, Heritage Division, Office of Environment and Heritage
  • Mr Nic holas Pitt, Webmaster, ASHA, postgraduate student and independent heritage practitioner.
  • Ms Kylie Seretis, Director, Casey & Lowe
  • Dr Iain Stuart , Vice - President, A S H A and Partner, JCIS Consultants

     

    Costs
    ASHA/ ICOMOS Members $110
    Student ASHA/ ICOMOS Members $ 55
    Non - Member $160
    Student Non - Member $ 80

    Venue
    Big Dig Centre, YHA Cumberland Street, The Rocks

    Date/ Time
    Friday 20 April 2018, 9am to 5pm

    ASHA encourages the participation of archaeological and heritage consultants seeking to improve their archaeological assessment and research skills and understanding of the current legislative frameworks .

    For more information and to book see: www.asha.org.au/events

  • Written by the SHAP committee

    Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioners’ (SHAP) Workshop is running on 18 May 2018. The theme of this year’s Workshop is: The Role of Archaeology in Heritage Conservation. Submissions for sessions and papers have been extended to 22 April so if you have not yet submitted your abstract we would love to hear from you! Please send it to admin@extent.com.au or email us for more info. Abstracts only need to be 150 words and presentations are short – 15 minutes with question time at the end.

    Tickets for the SHAP Workshop are now also on sale at https://shap2018.eventbrite.com.au – head over to reserve your spot now as places are limited! Tickets are $33 for students, $66 for ASHA/AAA/AACAI/ICOMOS members and $88 for general entry, including food and drinks.

    Compiled by Blog Editor

    A reminder that National Archaeology Week (20-26 May 2018) is fast approaching!

    If you have an event you wish to advertise, or if you want to check out what's on, go to: http://www.archaeologyweek.com/ where you'll find a state-by-state events list. You can also find National Archaeology Week on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/archaeologyweek/

    The state representatives are:
    NSW – Helen Nicholson - nhelen@tpg.com.au
    Qld – Paddy Waterson - paddy.waterson@gmail.com
    SA – Antoinette Hennessy - antoinette.hennessy@flinders.edu.au
    Tas – Samuel Dix – samuel.dix@griffithuni.edu.au
    Vic – Caroline Spry – c.spry@latrobe.edu.au
    WA – Wendy Reynen – wa@australianarchaeology.com

    And if you are posting on social media, please remember to use the hashtag #2018NAW

    Compiled by Blog Editor

    A special edition of the International Journal of Historical Archaeology was published in March 2018, focusing on 'Marvellous Melbourne'. Volume 22, Issue 1 was edited by Susan Lawrence, Peter Davies and Jeremy Smith and can be found here: https://link.springer.com/journal/10761/22/1/page/1. The special issue contains 11 articles, as follows:

    Introduction: The Archaeology of “Marvellous Melbourne” – Susan Lawrence, Peter Davies, Jeremy Smith

    Bottle Merchants at A’Beckett Street, Melbourne (1875-1914): New Evidence for the Light Industrial Trade of Bottle Washing – Adrienne Ellis, Bronwyn Woff

    Salvage Archaeology in Melbourne’s CBD: Reflections upon Documentary Sources and the Role of Prefabricated Buildings in Construction of the “Instant City” of Gold-Rush-Era Melbourne – Geoff Hewitt, Natalie Paynter, Meg Goulding, Sharon Lane, Jodi Turnbull, Bronwyn Woff

    Reconstructing Landscape: Archaeological Investigations of the Royal Exhibition Buildings Western Forecourt, Melbourne – Janine Major, Charlotte Smith, Richard Mackay

    The City Revealed: Reflections on 25 Years of Archaeology in Melbourne. Lessons from the Past and Future Challenges – Jeremy Smith

    Langlands Iron Foundry, Flinders Street, Melbourne - Sarah Myers, Sarah Mirams, Tom Mallett

    A Golden Opportunity: Mayor Smith and Melbourne’s Emergence as a Global City - Sarah Hayes

    Melbourne: The Archaeology of a World City - Susan Lawrence, Peter Davies

    Working-Class Consumer Behavior in “Marvellous Melbourne” and Buenos Aires, The “Paris of South America” – Pamela Ricardi

    The Other Side of the Coin: Subsurface Deposits at the Former Royal Melbourne Mint – Ian Travers

    Insights of Afro-Latin American Archaeology – Kathryn E Sampeck


    Written by The Dry Stone Wall Association of Australia

    The Dry Stone Walls Association of Australia (DSWAA) are holding a weekend away at Bathurst, NSW that  ASHA members may be interested in:

    Weekend away at Bathurst, NSW, May 11-13 2018
    Planning is well underway for a fabulous weekend of heritage and discovery in and around Bathurst. We start with drinks at the magnificent Abercrombie House; built in the 1870s by the Stewarts - pioneers of Bathurst. On the Bridle Track you can imagine yourself as a drover on horseback heading up the narrow track to the village at Hill End, the beautiful Turon River below.

    It's also a rare trades weekend at Bathurst where we could see violin making, photo restoration, shingle splitting, lace and whip making, and much more - and of course our own dry stone wallers; Wayne Fox and Emma Knowles will be in action.

    If you stay for Monday you will see Cox's Road - the original track across the Blue Mountains - and the historic Mayfield Gardens - a lovely property and garden rich in dsw.

    For more information, please see: http://dswaa.org.au/bathurst-heritage-weekend-11-13-may/